Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Kind of a techno Paul Revere

This request for a post just in.


P.S. Warning: Material may contain sarcasm--biting sarcasm. Beware. Note my own restraint here in not signing this "Paul, the revered Dog."

Please post an RRW message

Pat - Your blog is turning out to be an extremely valuable tool for a beleaguered staff. I would propose that you can serve yet another service as an informal messenger of action. Kind of a techno Paul Revere if you will. It seems our good friend Marty "stab you in the back" Schoenbauer is headed to LANL to present us with a little bit more of his love. He wants to hold an all hands on Wednesday sometime (can you believe he is this stupid?). Some of us are thinking an appropriate message would be sent if the auditorium were empty. This message is already moving quickly around the weapons staff, but it would be great if you could help get the word to larger audiences.

By the way, it is rumored that NNSA checked in today to make sure LANL was still answering phone calls from a 202 area code. They are trying to make nice and define what LANL's RRW role will be (minus any funding of course). They propose we lead an independent peer review team; embed some young talent in the LLNL led team for professional development; advance innovative technology. Not only are these guys charming, but they really know how to motivate people.


The problem is that by virtue of this post, all the senior management will force others to show up to counter the fact that none of the RRW team will show.
The proposal is for everyone (including science and pits) to boycott. Marty and his bedfellows need a message (I guarantee you polite or intelligent questions will be lost on Marty). How many people can senior management really influence? And, Glenn Mara was highly indignant about the blog in the all hands last Friday. They (Mikey and his minions) could not possibly read the blog. Wink-wink.

BTW Glenn does not believe there is a morale problem at LANL either. He and Mikey must be using some mood enhancing substance. Watch out guys, I hear LANL has a new drug testing policy.
Mood enhancers (Prozac, Valium, etc.) are OK if you're a manager. (Managers can get a note from their "doctor" in Industrial Medicine.) The rest of you are on your own. Cheer up!
Atta Boy LANL! The audtiorium was empty (only LANs managers and their admins). Message sent. The power of the little guy (with the help of the blog of course) remains supreme.
And for those keeping count, official, conflicting reason #2 for why LANL lost RRW was given. Recall, D'Agastino and crew said the first time around the LLNL design was "more conservative" and "gave higher confidence in the ability to certify."

Apparently, Marty didn't get that list of talking points, as he said both designs "we're equally certifiable", but that the LLNL proposal needed less development (duh, it wasn't nearly as transformational), and that "it had a shorter distance to go to get to the finish line" and "that was the tiebreaker".

You can pick this logic appart to the extreme: if the only goal was delivering a reliable, certified system to the Navy in the shortest time and with the least needed development, you don't need RRW at all! It's called the 76-1, and the Navy just took delivery of the first unit.

Transformation isn't free. Either you want to transform the deterrent or you don't. Revolutionary safety and security *will* require some development.

Another point that steams me is that the LANL team offered these ideas as modular: you could include them if you wished, or delay/delete them if you wanted a quicker implementation. We got no credit for the good ideas, and now we're penalized for offering options (with NNSA now saying the development of those OPTIONS work against our proposal).

What a joke.
A lesson in NNSA math. Marty said, LANL was judged ahead in safety & security (presented as the number 1 and 2 criteria to the design teams), more transformational, and equally certifiable. So it was a tie! Huh? That's right, … in the no-lab-left-behind math class, there is no such thing as an inequality. So kids, we need a tie breaker. Hmm, how about we judge em based upon the ability to meet a delivery date that is years before the Navy wants the first unit. This must just be a ridiculously bad dream. Can these guys be this dumb? They can’t even tell the same story over the course of 96 hours. Makes you wonder if they are just making things up as they go or are they really this incompetent?

Let's take stock and try to predict how this is going to turn out. NNSA ignored Congress' desire for transformation by making an archeological choice of a legacy design over one that allows them to modernize their complex. Oops #1. They flipped off the customer (Navy SSP) by giving them a design that offers essentially nothing beyond the 76-1 (from a team the Navy wisely does not trust). Oops #2. They slighted the taxpayer by offering an inferior safety/security approach. Oops #3.

Now who is arrogant?

Come on Congress, wake up!

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